Ballet Quad Cities' "The Nutcracker" at the Adler Theatre -- December 14 and 15.

Saturday, December 14, and Sunday, December 15

Adler Theatre, 136 East Third Street, Davenport IA

One of the Quad Cities' most adored holiday traditions returns to Davenport's Adler Theatre on December 14 and 15 when the professional talents of Ballet Quad Cities perform Tchaikovsky's holiday dance classic The Nutcracker, an event boasting new choreography and staging by Artistic Director Courtney Lyon and Artistic Associate Emily Kate Long, live musical accompaniment by Orchestra Iowa, and the return of Domingo Rubio, who danced the title role in the company's recent presentation of Dracula Unleashed!

Adapted from the 1816 story by E.T. A. Hoffman and debuting as a two-act ballet in 1892, The Nutcracker tells of the magical adventures of Clara, a young girl who falls asleep on Christmas Eve and dreams of an enchanted world filled with larger-than-life mice, ambulatory toys, dancers from all continents, an ethereal Sugar Plum Fairy, and much, much more. With Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky contributing perhaps the richest and most instantly recognizable of his compositions, The Nutcracker has been a holiday perennial worldwide for generations and has been the subject of innumerable film and TV adaptations, with familiar portions of its score referenced in everything from Disney's Fantasia to The Simpsons to Grand Theft Auto V.

Rubio will assume the role of Clara's godfather, the mysterious toymaker and magician Herr Drosselmeyer, with Clara herself danced by Ballet Quad Cities School of Dance student Sarah McVey. Company member Malachi Squires performs double-duty as The Nutcracker's Nutcracker Prince and Cavalier, Meghan Phillips, reprising her role from Ballet Quad Cities' 2018 production, portrays the tale's ethereal Sugar Plum Fairy. There will also be featured dance roles for company members Nicholas Bartolotti (the Rat King), Claire Cordano (soloist in the Chinese Dance), Sage Feldges (butterfly soloist in the “Waltz of the Flowers” vignette), and Rachel Martens (soloist in the Arabian Dance), with the ensemble also boasting the professional talents of Ballet Quad Cities' Maya de Leon, Elayne Podolske, Madeline Rhode, and Mahalia Zellmer. And with numerous area schoolchildren participating in this year's Nutcracker presentations, additional highlights for this year's presentations include new hand-crafted headpieces and snowflake tutus of shimmering velvet and diamond-cut Swarovski crystals, new embellished ball gowns and formal suits for the Christmas Eve party sequence, and a cape-wielding Spanish bullfighter who commands the Kingdom of Sweets.

Ballet Quad Cities' The Nutcracker will be performed at the Adler Theatre at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on December 14 and 2:30 p.m. on December 15, admission is $20-40, and tickets are available by calling (800)745-3000. For more information on this year's performances, visit AdlerTheatre.com or BalletQuadCities.com.

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